Pat Tillman Sr. speaks at a memorial service for his son on May 3, 2004. Now he says the Army told his family "outright lies" about the former NFL player's death in Afghanistan.
Talk About It: Post | Chat
''Pat had high ideals about the country; that's why he did what he did,'' Mary Tillman told the Post. ''The military let him down. The administration let him down. It was a sign of disrespect. The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting.'' Tillman, a player for the Arizona Cardinals, left the National Football League after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to join the Rangers with his brother. After a tour in Iraq, they were sent to Afghanistan in 2004 to help hunt for the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. Shortly after arriving in the mountains to fight, Tillman was killed in a barrage of gunfire from his own men, mistaken for the enemy as he got into position to defend them. After a public memorial service, at which Tillman received the Silver Star, the Army told Tillman's family what had really happened.
let him down. The administration let him down. It was a sign of disrespect."
The separate interviews
with Tillman's parents, who are divorced, appeared on the Post's Internet site
for Monday's editions.
Patrick Tillman Sr., a lawyer, told the Post he is furious about a ''botched homicide investigation'' and blames high-ranking Army officers for presenting ''outright lies'' to the family and to the public. ''After it happened, all the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this,'' the father said. ''They purposely interfered with the investigation, they covered it up. I think they thought they could control it, and they realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew up their poster boy.''
''In the case of the death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, the Army made mistakes in reporting the circumstances of his death to the family,'' Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks told the Post. ''For these, we apologize. We cannot undo those early mistakes.''
05-23-05 07:39 EDT
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.